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Tara Fowler
December 15, 2014 08:45 PM

Prince George may look a little chilly in his Amaia bloomers in this latest series of pictures, but in Britain, it’s considered tradition for upper-class boys to wear shorts in their younger years.

“Boys wear short trousers until they are 8,” Editor-in-Chief of Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward tells PEOPLE. “It is very English.”

Shot in late November, the images were taken by Ed Lane Fox, Prince Harry’s private secretary, and show the little royal on stone steps in a courtyard at London’s Kensington Palace.

Adds Seward: “It is considered very suburban for a little boy to be in long trousers when he is just a little boy.”

Graduating to long pants is a notable moment for young kids. “It is shorts until you’re 8 and then ‘woo, you’re in long trousers,’ ” says Seward. “They suddenly feel very grown up.”

The same was true for George’s father. “Prince William didn’t wear long trousers until he went to school at Ludgrove at the age of 8 or 9,” says Seward.

That’s not to say that George will never wear pants until he goes to prep school. (After all, those English winters can be pretty cold!) But it’s likely he won’t be photographed in them.

The images were released as a “grateful acknowledgment,” say sources close to William and Kate, that “their request for Prince George to grow up without intrusion from photography has been, and continues to be, honored.”

But that doesn’t mean the paparazzi have been kept entirely at bay. As Seward notes, “it is absolutely impossible to have a private life if you are a member of the royal family. There is no such thing.”

Reporting by PHILIP BOUCHER

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